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Hearts in Exile (1915)

Hearts in Exile (1915) World Film Corp.; A Schubert Feature. Distributor: World Film Corporation. Director: James Young. Assistant Director: Edwin L. Hollywood. Scenario, Owen Davis. Camera, Arthur Edeson. Cast: Clara Kimball Young, Montague Love, Claude Fleming, Vernon Steele, Fred Truesdell, Paul McAllister, Bert Sharkey, Miss Selwynne. A Russian woman tries to join her exiled husband, but accidentally ends up in Siberia with the wrong man. 4-5 reels. This film was re-released in 1917 as Hearts Afire. This film is available on Internet Archive, Google Video, and a 16 mm. print of this film is held by the George Eastman House and by the Cineteca del Friuli (unconfirmed).

This film is Clara Kimball Young's earliest surviving feature.

Clara Kimball Young and actor in snow Snow is much in evidence in your typical American silent film set in Russia. Thanks to Bill Rabe for this picture.
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Read William K. Everson's Screening notes

Review from Variety
Review from Moving Picture World
Video review

Review from Variety, April 9, 1915

Count Nicolai Montague Love
Serge Palma Claude Fleming
Paul Pavloff Vernon Steele
Captain Sokaloff Fred Truesdell
Ivan Mikhail Paul McAllister
Victor Rasloff Bert Sharkey
Madame Romonoff Miss Selwynne
Hope Ivanovna Clara Kimball Young

The Hippodrome started its third week as a picture show house with the World Film production "Hearts in Exile," featuring Clara Kimball Young. This picture has been adapted from the novel by the same name written by the late John Oxenham. The adaptation was made by Owen Davis. Hope Ivanovna (Miss Young), a young Russian, devotes her life helping the poor. She has many suitors, among them serge Palma (Claude Fleming), a wealthy young man; Paul Pavloff (Vernon Steele), a poor student, and Count Nicolai (Montague Love), a Russian nobleman. Paul, the first to propose, is refused through not having sufficient wealth to enable the woman he wishes to wed to carry on her charity work. Serge Palma, next, is accepted , and informs his fiance, all his wealth will be at her disposal. The Russian nobleman finds he cannot have the woman honestly and plots to get her at any cost. He has a warrant sworn out for the arrest of the husband, claiming him to be a nihilist. The newlywed is sentenced to 15 years in Siberia. The poor suitor is also sentenced to five years, through the Count, to have him out of the way. The husband and first proposer meet on the way to the distant land. The student is willing to let the husband have his short sentence and take the longer penalty, if they are able to fool the guards as to the identity at the place of parting. This is accomplished. In the city the wife, who has been left practically a widow by her husband's misfortune, tries to find where he has been imprisoned. The Russian Count is very attentive to her, making many approaches that come near the dead line. She pays no attention to his actions. A woman in love with him informs the wife where her husband has been sent. She leaves for Siberia. Her husband is not there, owing to the five year sentence given Paul calling for the sentence to be spent in the provinces. Upon arriving at the small town of Kars, Siberia, she asks for Serge Palma. The commander shows her to the cottage where she expects to find her husband. Upon opening the door she see sees her first lover, Paul. He greets her heartily and informs her of the changing of names in order to bring her husband back to civilization earlier. It is decided the two will have to live there together in order that no suspicion may be aroused. Paul states (according to a plate), "You will be my wife in name only." The real husband tries to escape upon arriving in the provinces and a straggler arriving in Kara informs the people he had been killed. The couple living together and loving each other, marry--by going through the necessary service without witnesses. A few months later the first husband puts in an appearance. He masquerades as an army officer and forges a pardon for Paul, but has it made out in his own name owing to the exchanging done some time before. He goes to the home of Paul and there finds his own wife. She shrinks from him. The truth is told. She loves the man she has been living with. The three are talking matters over when an officer of the camp passing the door hears what is going on inside. He rushes in and is overpowered by Serge and Paul. The trio escape after tying the officer to a chair. They get away in a sleigh. The officer soon releases himself and summons aid. A big chase ensues. The three are finally trapped but put up a game fight, in which Serge is killed. All of the chasing party but one are also put out of the way. The second husband and his wife are left together to live happily every after. James Young, who directed the picture, selected a capable cast. Men are the prevailing characters. Miss Young is given unnumbered opportunities to show her worth upon the screen. The only other woman character is that of Madame Romanoff, played satisfactorily. Owing to the many men employed it would leave the impression the male members would not come up to expectations. It is hard to find many faults in this department. The studio work for the picture was done at the Peerless plant in Fort Lee, N.J. The snow scenes wherever taken showed up very strongly. The chase at the finish is decidedly exciting. The men and horses falling into a frozen river furnish a thrilling moment. The picture is in five reels and has a story that will hold, owing to the many twists in it.

Review from Moving Picture World, April 17, 1915

"Hearts in Exile"
Clara Kimball Young Gives Sterling Performance in Strong Story of Russian Life, Released by the World Film Corporation.
Reviewed by Lynde Denig.

John Oxenham's novel must have told a very good story, either that or Owen Davis made it good when he adapted the incidents to a five-part drama released by the World Film Corporation. Clara Kimball Young is the star under the direction of James Young, who photographed the interiors in the Peerless studio and took his company to Saranac Lake for the exteriors, intended to represent the long, long way to Siberia. The snow scenes are splendid and indispensable to the production of "Hearts in Exile," but the producers need not enlarge upon scenic attraction in extolling the merits of this picture. They may justly emphasize the worth of Mr. Davis' melodramatic tale and call attention to the unfailingly expressive acting of Miss Young. Furthermore, there is an able supporting company that should not be overlooked, notably the actors playing Serge Palma, Paul Pavlow and the Chief of Police

Miss Young has the role of Hope, a young Russian woman devoted to the cause of the Patriots. She marries a wealthy man that she may have money with which to aid the poor. The Chief of Police, in love with Hope, has her husband sent to Siberia and a former admirer, a poor doctor whom she really loves, is sentenced to the Provinces. The husband and the doctor change places and in time Hope, who has followed the prisoners to Siberia, accepts Paul, believing her husband to be dead. Eventually he is killed that the story may end happily, but not until Mr. Davis has made the most of a number of dramatic meetings and misunderstandings.

Director Young opens the picture at a fast tempo, a trifle too fast, perhaps, but soon strikes a more natural pace and the acting profits in consequence. In depicting life in Siberia, he allowed his two chief characters a cozy little cabin, hardly suggestive of the loathsome quarters supposed to be allotted exiles. This approach to comfort may be accounted for by Paul's appointment as prison doctor. The ride for freedom over the frozen lake the plunge through a hole in the ice and the final escape of Hope and Paul, provide tense scenes exceedingly well handled. All of the important characters were suitably cast and Director Young was fortunate in his choice of "supers." "Hearts in Exile" was cordially received at the New York Hippodrome.

[Picture omitted, details are not legible]

Video review

Hearts in Exile seems to be typical of films from the 'teens set in exotic Russia--the land of ice and snow, where everyone wears fur coats and lives in log cabins, where political intrigue is rife, nihilists and secret police are everywhere, and half the cast ends up in Siberia. These extremist plots filled with recklessly passionate characters seem to have been quite popular, and Clara Kimball Young made several, of which only this survives. Even Ms. Young seems occasionally somewhat stunned by the plot's silliness, but she gamely throws herself into every situation, and the end result is quite a vigorous and entertaining film with some nice location work. Included in the cast is Montague Love as the Police Chief. As the most colorful of the male characters, one is disappointed that he is killed off so quickly. This film was formerly available on video from PicPal and Bill Sprague, and the PicPal version is one print I viewed. It is a little soft and contrasty, but not too bad. It has a needle drop music track of romantic symphonies, which is oddly appropriate for the tumultuous goings-on.

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Last revised September 28, 2011